Couillard wants Quebec and Newfoundland to cooperate on mining, roads – by Presse Canadienne (Montreal Gazette – July 19, 2017)

EDMONTON — The premiers of Quebec and Newfoundland say their governments will work to increase mining in the Labrador trough and expand Route 138 in the Côte-Nord region.

Discussions between both governments began Wednesday in Edmonton during a meeting of Canada’s premiers and could end in a formal agreement by year’s end, according to Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.

The two provinces share a border, near Blanc Sablon, and their relationship hasn’t always been an easy one. For years the Newfoundland government has contested the Churchill Falls agreement, which largely benefits Hydro-Québec.

Couillard and his counterpart Dwight Ball said Wednesday that they hadn’t broached the Churchill Falls affair — a matter that’s before the Supreme Court. Instead, they focused on the Labrador trough, a mineral-rich swath of land, and Route 138 in Quebec (which becomes Highway 510 in Newfoundland). Those files could grow the provinces’ respective economies, the premiers said.

“Of course, we can talk about savings, we can talk about trucking, about industry. But that would only be on a tourism level,” Couillard said. “Imagine the possibilities of one fluid tour of the Côte Nord, Newfoundland, the Maritimes and a return to Quebec. For our citizens, that would be something amazing.”

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